A young audience member once commented that when David Appel performs, he comes across more as a “real person” than as a “dancer.” This can be attributed to his love of the wonder and magic inherent in how we move through our everyday lives, and its particular (and peculiar) synthesis with years of inveterate investigation into what the dancing body can do. And it reflects his ongoing search to better illuminate the singularity and commonality of our movement language, to uncover and shed new light on the mysteries of our shared humanity.
Quietly and without fanfare, Appel has built a reputation for work that is resonant, subtly musical, and full of an odd magic. He is exquisitely articulate: whether moving like quicksilver, slowing to a snail’s pace, or freezing a moment with snapshot clarity. Everything he does reflects a palpable depth of feeling, and presence. This stems from a rigorous commitment to movement discovery, and from the conviction that there is a direct and open pathway between stories rooted in the body and the issues we face each day. By exploring, shaping, and enlivening these narratives, they become vital metaphors pointing to the richness that exists within, among, and around us all.
This work is propelled by an ongoing inquisitiveness about and respect for how we make choices from what’s possible. While searching for honest, personal movement, David seeks a sense of connection and interplay, giving rise to moments of insight and humor. And in doing so, he continually creates opportunities for others to see, hear, and feel movement in new ways.
The flavors of David’s dancing continue to emerge not only from long and persistent movement exploration, but from the influence of all he experiences happening around him, and an ongoing dialogue with—and acceptance of—the forces of growth and change. His dances, whether created for his own performance or with others, are intriguing conversations that blend improvised and set material in intricate and unusual fashion. Danced alone or embodied by a group, Appel's pieces look at how we mediate and move fluidly between our inner landscapes and external environments...palpable physical paradigms for how we find our way through the world in which we live.